Disclaimers: The characters of Xena: Warrior Princess and all other associated with the television series of the same name are owned by MCA/ Universal Pictures. This is a work of fan fiction and no copyright infringement is intended.
Subtext: I guess with my writing so far we'll just quit calling it subtext and call it maintext. Yes they are in love with each other.
Spoilers: The Quill is Mightier
Other: Part twenty-six in the series "Raising Melosa". Most of the Melosa stories have a gap of about six months between them, but this one takes up right after "Sweet Rediscoveries". Also, youll be getting these next several parts from Xenas POV.
Special thanks to my friend Anima for letting me reference her fan fic work "Three Naked Gabrielles"
The Good Life
By T. Novan
As I came into the kitchen from the side door I could hear them.
"I swear Mom she says every word is true." Mel giggled.
"Oh she had better hope this one isnt." I heard a familiar growl creeping into my wifes voice as I moved silently around the kitchen.
"Why in the world would there be three of you?" Mel asked.
"What I want to know is why they were naked " I gave myself away when I dropped the bowl I had in my hand. "Xena? Is that you? Could you come here please?"
"Actually sweetheart I was just on my way back out." I called hoping to make a quick escape over to the village and grab a bite there.
"Oh no warrior. I have a question about this scroll." Her voice was softer now and I knew she was standing behind me on the other side of the room. Slowly I turned
"Yes?" I grinned.
"Care to explain this one to me?" She said as she advanced. I began backing away moving around the room backward.
"Well you see Aphrodite enchanted this scroll "
"Yeah that much I got " She said as she followed me around the room and I continued to back up.
"And I had asked you to keep me out of your story just once."
"Un-huh that part was pretty clear too " I was still moving but so was she. Now where had I put that door?
"And you see well you accidentally took away the powers of a couple of our favorite Gods "
"Un-huh keep talking."
"Well then Joxer got a hold of the enchanted scroll " Ah the door, turn and run right into the number one daughter. "Umm Mel could you move?"
"Somehow I dont think so." She said with a big grin. Okay move number one daughter. I picked Mel up by both arms and turned and placed her in the doorway between a rapidly advancing Gabrielle and me. "Ill get you later you little traitor. Now Ri honey "
"Dont you honey me Warrior "
I noticed Mel had no problem moving for her. "Gee thanks a lot pal "
"Anytime." Mel said as she leaned against the doorframe and watched.
"You know perfectly good and well what Im talking about Xena "
"Care to refresh my memory " That stopped her long enough for me to get a little distance between us.
"Oh thaaats funny." She said as she took up a stand at the other end of our dining table, which I had strategically placed, between us. "Im talking about the part when you got a hold of the scroll "
"Could we talk about this later?" I nodded toward Mel who was still watching with a huge grin on her face.
"Oh no its okay I already read it." Mel offered. "I pointed it out actually."
"Youre not helping me here!"
"Hey youre the one who chose to bring back the three naked Gabrielles." Mel said with a smirk. "Didnt you stop and consider that someday that just might come back and bite you on the "
"MEL!" Ri and I both yelled in unison.
"Sorry." She said as she threw up her hands and disappeared into the kitchen.
My gaze returned to Ri, who stood at the other end of the table. I grinned. "Honey it really wasnt as bad as the scroll made it sound. I just wanted to see if it would work. Nothing happened I swear.
I swatted the scroll away as it flew toward my head. "You are in so much trouble Warrior you have no idea "
"Aww come on Gabrielle it was a joke I swear. You actually thought it was pretty funny then. We had a good laugh, really we did."
"Okay, but I have questions about some other things." She said as she picked up another scroll.
"Alright thats fair." I said as a carefully approached her, still not quite trusting her. I slowly moved in behind her and wrapped my arms around her and lay my head on her shoulder. "Tell you what. Why dont we pack everyone up and go down to the lake and spend a couple of days. Just you, the kids and me. Hmmm?"
"Id like that. Will you answer my questions?"
"Of course I will my love. All your questions." I gave her a gentle hug.
She turned in my arms and looked into my eyes. "Xena why me?"
"Okay I dont understand that one. Why you what?"
"Why me? You could have had anyone. Anyone you wanted, why me?"
I caressed her cheek with my fingertips. "Because you believed in me. Because you loved me. You loved me no matter what and you never lost faith in me or us. You once said that we were two halves of one soul Ri and I believe that." I kissed her forehead. You are the other half of my soul I would die without you." I rested my cheek against her and closed my eyes. "I would die without you." I whispered again.
"Oh enough with the mushy stuff." Mel giggled as she came back into the room. "Its embarrassing for a kid to see that stuff.
I released Ri and turned. "YOU! You little traitor " I gave her a little growl and advanced on her. She looked at me, gulped and ran for it. I heard the back door slam and I turned and went out the front. I ran around the side of the house and caught her in my arms as she came around the corner.
"ACCCCKKKK " She yelped as I hoisted her over my shoulder and started walking. I heard Kai and Auto come around the corner. "KAI HELP!!!" She begged as she squirmed.
"Mom!" Kai yelled I could hear him running to catch up. I stopped and turned and waited patiently for him even as Mel tried to squirm free.
"Yes?" I asked as he caught up to us.
"Whatcha doing?" He asked as we began walking again.
"Teaching your sister a lesson in loyalty."
"Hey I was being perfectly loyal." Mel argued.
"Whatcha going to do to her?" Kai questioned as he peered up at me.
"What do you think we should do to the little traitor?"
"Kai if you answer that I swear Ill get you back " Mel threatened from her spot on my shoulder.
"Go ahead Kai youre my lieutenant here. What should we do with the traitor in our midst?"
"Toss her in the lake." He said with a wide grin.
"The lake it is." I said and we picked up the pace a bit. Auto barked and jumped along beside us as we continued.
"You know if you loved me if you really loved me you wouldnt do this to me." Mel continued to argue with me as we drew closer to the lake.
"Oh, but I do love you my little pain in the butt and thats why Im doing this."
"Sorry I just cant seem to make the connection." She said as she finally just slumped in defeat.
"Call it a lesson in philosophy. It doesnt make any sense, but has to happen anyhow." I said as we got to the waters edge. I brought her off my shoulder and hoisted her into my arms. "Any last words traitor?" I grinned.
"Nah go ahead and get it over with." She said dryly as she went limp in my arms.
I took three good swings and tossed her straight toward the lake. Just as she had been taught to do, she turned and executed a perfect headlong drive and entered the water with very little splash.
"You know," Kai said as he stared at the ripples. "She kinda took the fun out of that."
"Yeah she did, didnt she?" We stood watching and waiting.
Waiting. She wasnt surfacing. Oh Gods what had I done! "Kai stay here!" I dove into the water and began looking for her. Feeling around and not finding her. I surfaced and drew in a lunge full of air. "MEL! DAMN IT MEL ANSWER ME!" I turned and went back under and continued to feel around for her until my lungs ached for need of air.
When I broke the surface again I felt her arms grab me around the neck. "Gotcha!" She laughed.
I grabbed her and brought her around to face me. I dont know whether to kiss her or kill her. "Mel are you trying to kill me? Dont ever do that again!" I pulled her into a tight hug.
"Well you asked for it you know?" She said as she leaned back and rested her forehead on mine. "Tossing me in just called for it. You shoulda seen it coming Warrior Princess. Im learning a few things reading those old scrolls too you know."
"Gods Im never gonna survive this." I growled as I climbed out of the lake with Mel in my arms. Kai stood there looking positively disgusted with me. "Whaaaat?" I asked of him as I put Mel down.
"Well General that didnt go quite as planned did it?" Kai asked as I dropped to the ground next to him.
"Oh dont you start too." I said as I pulled him into a nice wet hug.
He giggled and squirmed. Auto apparently thought I was hurting him and decided to attack my trouser leg. Growling and tugging I had a dog firmly attached to my leg. A wet giggling son in my arms and out of the corner of my eye I saw Mel advancing. Very soon I was covered in children. It was the beginning of a furious tickle fight. Ahh, the good life, laughing squirming kids, growling dog.
I tried to recapture my breath, when I looked up and saw Ri coming toward us. She was carrying Rosa and Kessa walked along side her.
"Is this a private party or is anyone invited?" She said as she sat down next to me and turned the baby loose. I picked Kai and Mel off of me and sat up. Auto stopped growling, but held firm to my trouser leg and stared at me.
"Um Kai. Want to make him let go?" I asked my son as I stared at his dog.
"Auto give." Kai commanded. They dog let go and trotted over and sat down next to Kai. "Good boy." My son praised the dog with a loving rub to the head. His training was coming along very well and he was staying out of trouble now, for the most part.
" So Ri do you want to camp out for a couple of days or do you want to go back to the house at night?" I asked as I tried to get close to her.
"Oh no your soaked." She said as she pushed me back. "How did you get wet?" She arched her eyebrow at me and then looked to Mel.
We pointed at each other. "Its her fault." We said together, each of us quick to lay the blame on the other.
"Tell me again why I put up with you two on a regular basis?" She said with a grin.
"I dont know why we keep her." Mel said pointing at me. "But you let me stay cause Im so cute.""
"We let you stay cause no one in their right mind would put up with you." I said as I gave her a little shove with my foot.
""Like mother like daughter." Ri said quietly with an evil little chuckle.
"Hey shes yours too you know."
"Yeah we need to talk about that too." She said softly.
I took her hand. "Ri theres still so much to talk about, but weve got the rest of our lives. Thanks the Gods weve got the rest of our lives.
"Momma wet." Kessa giggled as she pushed on my back and slapped her hands against my wet clothing.
I reached back and grabbed her and pulled her into my arms and gave her little kisses. "Yeah I am and now so are you Princess." She continued to giggle as I tickled her tummy. It didnt take long, once again I was covered in giggling children.
We played there on the bank of the lake for what seemed like forever. It was a wonderful feeling. We had a long way to go yet, but life was finally getting back to normal for us.